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Seven years in slammer in stolen comic book caper
By Christy Gutowski | Daily Herald Staff

 

Scott K. Meherg

 

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Published: 5/7/2009 12:44 PM | Updated: 5/7/2009 6:24 PM

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A not-so-friendly neighborhood thief was sentenced Thursday to seven years in prison for stealing a rare 1963 Spider-Man collector's comic book in Naperville.

Scott K. Meherg, 28, formerly of Des Plaines, received the sentence after he pleaded guilty to felony theft. He is eligible for parole after serving half the prison term.

Meherg admitted writing a fraudulent check on Dec. 10, 2007 for $980.99 at Graham Cracker Comics in Naperville.

Prosecutor Louisa Nuckolls said police traced the bad check to Meherg, who signed his own name, after a store manager identified him in a photo lineup. She said police also obtained Meherg's fingerprints on the check.

Meherg was on the lam until last summer when police spun a web, and caught the thief in Ogle County where he was wanted on unrelated charges.

Authorities never recovered the second-edition comic, based on the fictional Peter Parker, otherwise known as the friendly neighborhood Spider-Man.

"It's a popular edition. Everyone's still looking for it," said Michael Wall, the store manager who helped nab Meherg. "It was in fairly good condition. We bought it either in a collection or from another dealer."

George Ford, a senior DuPage County assistant public defender, said Meherg has a drug addiction and the comic book likely was sold.

DuPage Circuit Judge Peter J. Dockery, who presided over Thursday's plea deal, also ordered Meherg to pay $980.99 restitution. Meherg's criminal history included prior convictions for burglary, theft and deceptive practices.

Graham Cracker Comics no longer accepts personal checks.

"I'm not satisfied," Wall said. "We lost our money and we lost our book."